• Sunday, December 21, 2014

Freedom in the air

The world's first 'Metalhead' President

Indonesia elects Metallica, Led Zep fan

Fahmim Ferdous

Heavy metal music is often associated with angst, hostility, dark emotions and disruptive cacophony, but Indonesians seem to have placed their faith in a man to run their nation, who is a self-declared 'metalhead' (a term coined by heavy metal fans to describe themselves).

53-year old Joko Widodo, the governor of Jakarta, has just won the tightly-contested presidential polls, narrowly edging out his opponent with 53.15% votes. He has publicly declared he is a fan of bands like Metallica, Led Zeppelin, Lamb of God and even Napalm Death. Nicknamed Jokowi, he has been seen at metal concerts, head-banging and singing with the crowds. He even received an autographed bass guitar from Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo last year, but had to surrender it to the Corruption Eradication Commission of the country, as all public officials are required to report the receipt of gifts to the country's anti-graft commission within 30 days. It was eventually declared state property.

Because of his interest in loud music, Jokowi is popular among the youth, particularly musicians in his country, to the extent that street musicians voluntarily created a song for his electoral campaign. International artistes like Sting, Jason Mraz, Bumblefoot and Arkarna have also voiced their support for his campaign on social media like Facebook and Twitter.

While issues like better social welfare for the poor are on Jokowi's agenda, heavy metal fans in Indonesia can also expect some major international metal acts to tour Indonesia in the next few years, provided there are no hurdles of him taking office, following a challenge by his defeated presidential contestant on accounts of electoral fraud.

Published: 12:00 am Friday, July 25, 2014

TAGS: President Indonesia

Leave your comments | Comment Policy
eDaily Star
BIT DEFENDER